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Lieutenant – KIA

Nonfiction by Lisbeth Prifogle

I get it and I don’t. I think about staying in and volunteering to go to Afghanistan. It’s a right of passage for Marines. It’s a badge of courage. It’s who we are. I can’t explain it, but I understand it. What I don’t understand is that Trevor is dead. He was just a lieutenant. He had his whole life ahead of him. He had a career to jump into, a wife to meet and marry, and children to raise in the suburbs. He had all of that and more, but now it’s over.

Obsequies

Poetry by Joseph Kampff . . . who (while the band-a discourse community-dawdles) attends the whispers and the screams-sonorous harmonic discordances of the Silvertone* . . .] (. . .) [It’s obvious what’s going on here1.] “Omnia mutantur, nos et…

Poems by Lisa McCool-Grime

Are You Kidding Me? Are You Kidding Me:

from BBC interviews with the Westboro Baptist
Church members under the ministry of Fred Phelps

The ultimate smash-mouth in-your-face insult
to God Almighty. He can’t help but lie about the scripture
every time he opens his mouth. No tears for queers.
Not one word falls to the ground, not one of them

Duality

Fiction by Rae Beatrice Nelson

I ran my hand down her ribcage that night. I counted the vertebrae in her spine, there were too many. Collarbones begged to be forced through, to give her some blood for her efforts there.

My Wakeup

The unit gets shipped from the base in Kuwait to Rhein Mein, from there to someplace in Ireland. I spend the flight from Ireland to Charlotte with my legs across the aisle onto the next row of seats. The stewardess doesn’t complain. I’m one of the few who don’t kiss the ground when we land. Another

2 Poems by Krystal Languell

from 56 Etymologies

(4)

A process occurs when you give up your language and start calling things by new names but there is not a term for how new phrases infiltrate your reflex it starts with the gutturals

An Interview with Walt Staton

…(T)he courage of people to migrate is a really inspiring thing, but it’s tough in a lot of ways because there isn’t a whole lot we can do. I mean, we are out there as medical people, and with food and water just to–– I guess if you find someone in their worst possible state, if they’re in real medical distress, then we can take them to a hospital or something. But the hardest part is realizing there is not a lot we can do. We can’t drive people places. So you meet these really amazing folks who are making a very powerful statement with their feet, you know, and you are just a little blip in their longer journey.

On Bunnies

An Interview with Khadijah Queen

Rabbits aren’t necessarily cute and cuddly like the Easter bunny. For example, I didn’t know rabbits made any sounds at all until I researched them. In fact they have a very loud, grating scream if threatened. A mother rabbit will kill her own young (thinking them enemies) if touched too soon by humans. So rabbits are vulnerable and soft, but they do also have the ability and impulse to fight back and even to kill.

On Photographing My Mother

Nonfiction by Sara Dailey

In the few pictures there are of her as a child, her smile is a fixed gleam, tongue swallowing both sun and her father’s secret, how a wolf could wear the clothes of a man, his rumpled shirts and scent of farm, have the same big hands that killed chickens and crushed berries into blackberry wine. Looking at the oldest of the photos, taken when she was only five or six, feels to me like staring at a ghost. That girl has gone from her—like a chameleon might shed its skin, this second self has also been shed, like she’s tried to shed all traces of her rural upbringing, her knowledge of farm life and poverty in equal measure.

Personal growth

Poetry by Rick Hale

It began with a lemon tree.
I broke its pot and put it outside
right next to my house.

A whole jungle lunged up around it.

I used to be able to recognize it
in the jaguar shade of the tree line.

Confessional

Fiction by Melissa Chadburn

I heard the priest place his palm on the wooden shelf. He was waiting. I never did well with silences. I had to say something.

I smiled nervously and thought this is strange and funny but sort of sexy. Could be a great kinky sex scene with my new lover.

It was early evening at St. Augustin’s church in Boyle Heights, CA. A rehearsal for my secretary’s wedding. The jacaranda trees had left a light purple trail on the maroon carpeting that adorned the entrance. The wedding party sat in pews awaiting their turns to confess.